There was no fitting last ride at ParisLongchamp for Frankie Dettori, with Kinross thwarted in his quest for back-to-back Qatar Prix de la Foret victories by Kelina, who survived a nervy stewards’ inquiry.
The retiring Italian was in no rush in the early stages aboard the Ralph Beckett-trained six-year-old, with the first past the post just ahead of him in the order, racing keenly in the hands of Maxime Guyon.
With Dettori and Kinross locked on the inner, Kelina was able to get first run on the big-race favourite.
However, there was still drama to come as Kelina edged right towards the rail while making her challenge, squeezing both Dettori aboard Kinross and Richard Hannon’s Shouldvebeenaring for room at a vital point in the contest.
Dettori had enough time to switch Kinross and have one last-gasp crack at the Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained victor, but was unable to bridge the deficit in the closing stages.
Dettori immediately signalled his intention to appeal, but after a stewards’ inquiry the result was unaltered, bringing to an end both Kinross’ phenomenal winning run over seven furlongs and the 52-year-old’s riding career in France.
After the race, a disappointed Beckett said: “We were second best on the day and that’s it. We weren’t good enough.”
When asked if Kinross remained on track for another crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile, he added: “We will see how he goes, I don’t know yet.”
Firmly on course for the Breeders’ Cup Mile is the winner, who could now get the chance to replicate the achievements of three-time Mile winner Goldikova who sported the same silks of owners Wertheimer and Frere.
The Foret victory was a welcome return to form for Kelina, who having finished fourth in the French 1000 Guineas earlier in the season before claiming the Group Two Prix de Sandringham put disappointments in both the Prix Rothschild and Prix du Moulin behind her.
“She finished last here in the Marcel Boussac and has come a long way since,” said Laffon-Parias.
“Last time when she came here and she didn’t run well we didn’t really have an explanation, but the soft ground was obviously not in her favour.
“She ran a fabulous race in the Prix de Sandringham when she had her ground but again her last start in the Moulin she didn’t have a very good draw and we were going to wait with her, but she just didn’t run her race and that allowed her to come here today fresh.
“After you have won a a Group Two you can only really go for a Group One and we have tried. We had been invited to go to Keeneland and accepted but then we we’re talking about it, we made the decision to come here and we were very pleased with the decision to come here.
“It is no secret that my career is more behind me than in front of me, but I have no plans to stop.”